Mr. Speaker, I listened enthusiastically to my dear colleague from New Brunswick. He has talked about the financial and fiscal situation in our country. I would like to ask him one question on this subject.
I heard members of his party mention certain things repeatedly. If the government had not solved the country's fiscal problem when it did, how does he think it would have been possible to invest in Canadians' high priority issues, for example, $41 billion in health, $33 billion in equalization, $5 billion in cities and communities, $5 billion in early childhood? It seems to me that the priorities of Canadians are the important things. The fact that we solved the country's fiscal problems enables us to invest in these priorities now.
Moreover, I often hear members from his party talking about the issue of the national debt, saying that we should continue to invest in social programs. That is true, but we also need a balanced approach, and we think that is important. If we do not pay down the national debt when the time is ripe, when the economy is strong, when should we do so?